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Freaknight 2018 : Taking My Mom to Her First Rave
Photo Credit: Turk Photos

Freaknight 2018 : Taking My Mom to Her First Rave

October 26th is my mom’s birthday, and it conveniently landed on the same night as Freaknight this year. Freaknight is USC Event’s annual Halloween festival held right here in Seattle. My mom has been joking about coming to a show with me for years now, but this time it wasn’t a joke. I invited her out to celebrate her birthday, and she accepted; I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Freaknight 2018 Mainstage

Photo Credit: @turkphotos & USC Events


We started the night off the right way (and by that, I mean she allowed me put face jewels on her face) and the initiation to raving had begun. One of my favorite things about festivals is putting glitter and jewels on people, so this was crazy cool to me. On our walk to the venue, I was trying my best to debrief her on the different stages, what was included in her VIP band, and an overall idea of what she was about to experience. But how could I ever capture that in a 15-minute walk?

Photobooth at Freaknight wearing INTO THE AM

Photo Credit: USNAP & USC Events


When we walked past the super long line to get in, she got scared, but with having VIP, we got to skip the line and use a separate entrance. As we walked into the venue we were greeted by a top-notch view of mainstage and performers taunting us. The look on her face was priceless - she had no idea what she was getting herself into.

First thing first, she had to go to the bathroom. I directed her to the appropriate place and she came out absolutely MORTIFIED (I forgot to tell her that the bathroom stalls don't shut because the WaMU Theater locks them open for safety purposes during festivals). I couldn’t have laughed harder as she told me about how the other ravers had to explain to her that she could keep trying to close every stall, but they were not going to close.

I then took her around the venue to all the different stages to see all of the local artists: Kendoll, Darrius and Quackson. We continued wandering through the festival to see all the art installations and carnival rides. Then, (of course) she was hungry. Guess what she got? Chicken Strips! (The deliciousness of the Chicken Strips served at most USC Events are a long-time running inside joke with people who frequently attend USC Events). Finally, my mom got to experience these delicious strips and was truly living her best life at the rave.

Official Freaknight VIP Shirts

Photo credit: The Cheshire Cat (pictured)


A piece of important information that I shared with my mom was about #TheMessage. #TheMessage is a campaign started by USC Events & their safety team, The Conscious Crew, to ensure everyone at the venue has a safe and fun time. It’s more than just hydrating (which is super important). It’s about watching out for your fellow ravers - reporting something that you see, getting consent before anything, pin-pointing a meeting place for when you get lost, the list goes on. It embodies “PLUR” and what it truly means to be a part of this community. Everyone we ran into was super helpful and informative and was wondering if my mom or myself had any questions or concerns.

Practicing The Message at Freaknight

Photo Credit: @turkphotos & USC Events


We went and watched Bonnie x Clyde and she had a great time Snapchat-ing the whole thing and enjoying her chicken strips. Before the rave, she was worried that she wasn’t going to know any songs, but she slowly started to realize that most of the music she hears on the radio, and in commercials ( and really everywhere) is electronic music in different forms. Her expectations were slowly dissipating before her eyes.

This was the first year USC Events added a new stage to Freaknight: the Fun House Silent Disco! There were constantly three different DJ’s spinning on different channels for the participants to choose from while streaming to wireless headphones! Each channel had a different color so you were able to see what other ravers were listening to the same set as you.

Freaknight Circus Stage

Photo Credit: @turkphotos & USC Events


The art installations at Freaknight this year were SPECTACULAR. There was a giant cube that was made up of giant LED panels that were changing all night long. The performers were jaw-dropping; they were dressed to perfection and they wouldn’t break character even after all my laughter. All in all, my mom and I created memories that will last a lifetime.

Creepy clown performers at Freaknight

Photo Credit: @turkphotos and USC Events

After that, we spent most of our time up in the VIP area above mainstage: where there was plenty of seating, a glitter bar, a private bar and of course the best view the house has to offer. I asked mom how she was enjoying it, and her response made my entire night: “There are butts and boobs everywhere, all shapes and sizes- and no one cares! You can wear whatever you want and you’re still accepted. Christmas lights on your legs? Sure. Umbrella inside? Sure. I want a light up tutu.”

Resolution Main Stage Decorations

Photo Credit: @turkphotos & USC Events


The day after, I found this on her Snapchat and my heart warmed:

Snapchat at Freaknight Festival

When asked if she would come back, she had no doubts in her mind that she would return. It’s a giant party filled with a community that cares about each other and with performers that are entertained all night long. We ended our night with Marshmello closing mainstage, exactly what she had been waiting for all night. He played all his commercial dance music that she recognized and she was overall satisfied.

Freaknight Photobooth and Twinning in VIP Freaknight shirts

Photo Credit: USNAP & USC Events

TAGS: Ryan Halstead, festival-news, Lifestyle, music,



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